The Historic Murder Trial of George Crawford

Charles H. Houston, the NAACP and the Case That Put All-White Southern Juries on Trial


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About the Book

The Depression–era murder trial of George Crawford in Northern Virginia helped end the exclusion of African Americans from juries. Nearly forgotten today, the murders, ensuing manhunt, extradition battle and sensational trial enthralled the nation. Before it was over, the U.S. House of Representatives threatened to impeach a federal judge, the age-old states rights debate was renewed, and a rift nearly split the fledgling NAACP. In the end, the story’s hero—Howard University Law School dean Charles Hamilton Houston—was the subject of public ridicule from critics who had little understanding of the inner workings of the case. This book puts the Crawford murder trial in its fullest context, side by side with relevant events of the time.

About the Author(s)

David Bradley is a journalist who spent more than a decade working at newspapers in Northern Virginia, including the Loudoun Easterner, Loudoun Independent and Loudoun Times-Mirror. He lives in Sterling, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

David Bradley
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9468-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1637-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Preface 1

Introduction 5

One—The Murders 9

Two—Agnes Boeing Ilsley 12

Three—The ­Age-­Old Divide 19

Four—“My dear little darling” 37

Five—“The atrocious crime” 49

Six—The Hunt for George Crawford 55

Seven—A Year on the Run 63

Eight—Leesburg Prepares for a Trial 100

Nine—Taking Sides 115

Ten—The Trial 138

Eleven—Aftermath 164

Chapter Notes 185

Bibliography 189

Index 193